Consumers Spending More Time with Digital Media

After reviewing the newly released eMarketer research on the amount of time consumers are spending with media in an average day, it would be easy to conclude that the typical U.S. adult must be doing little else. According to this study, the typical consumer engages with media for 12 hours and 5 minutes every day. This type of research serves as a useful guide for studying trends and one key trend eMarketer  readingandtvhas highlighted is that our time spent with digital media will surpass the time spent viewing TV this year. Of course, not all consumer time spent on media involves the kind of attention that marketers are hoping for, so they’ll need to study these numbers and decide for themselves how to adjust the allocation of their media mix.

eMarketer analysts believe that average daily TV viewing time will drop to 4 hours and 31 minutes this year while online time will increase to 5 hours and 16 minutes. The digital time will be split across online at 2 hours and 19 minutes, mobile nonvoice at 2 hours and 21 minutes, and other at 36 minutes. This study also broke out the mobile device time as follows: Smartphone — 1 hour and 7 minutes, tablet  — 1 hour and 3 minutes, and feature phones — 11 minutes.

Here’s how the other media forms break out:

  • Radio 1 hour and 36 minutes
  • Newspaper 18 minutes
  • Magazines 14 minutes
  • Other 20 minutes

Consumers noted that they were often using multiple forms of media simultaneously which explains how they could spend so much time with media and still get everything else done. For example, they were often shopping on their tablets while watching TV.

To their credit, eMarketer analysts point out that other research shops have studied this topic and there is considerable variation in how these measurements take place and in the results. Perhaps the most important takeaway from this report is that marketers may want to increase their spending on digital channels if they believe they can effectively engage with consumers in these formats. The attention consumers direct to various media formats is critical when they are using more than one channel at a time.

To learn more about social media advertising responders, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.